H-1B Wage Rule Delayed

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer May 17, 2021
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​The regulation raising wages for workers with H-1B visas and employment-based green cards will be delayed until Nov. 14, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed.  

The rule, which was set to take effect in May, will be delayed by 18 months. The delay follows an earlier postponement of the rule from March 15. Employers will remain subject to the DOL's current prevailing wage rules, levels and rates until Jan. 1, 2023, the scheduled start of the transition period for adjustments to prevailing wage levels.

We've rounded up articles from SHRM Online and information from other outlets on the news.

More Time to Study

The delay will provide the DOL with more time to consider the final rule's legal and policy issues and to review public comments in response to a request for information about potential sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels.

The delay will also give agency officials sufficient time to compute and validate prevailing wage data covering specific occupations and geographic areas, complete necessary modifications, and conduct public outreach. Further substantive changes to the rule are possible.

(U.S. Department of Labor)

Trump Increases H-1B Wage Minimums

The final rule was issued in January 2021 as one of the last regulatory actions of the Trump administration. It restructured the prevailing wage system used in labor condition applications for employing H-1B visa workers and labor certifications for workers hired under employment-based permanent residence visas. The rule required employers to pay skilled foreign workers significantly higher wages. The DOL had determined that the existing wage methodology led to program abuses, including undermining the wages and job opportunities of U.S. workers.

(SHRM Online)

H-1B Lottery to Remain Through 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Feb. 4 that the final rule replacing the annual H-1B visa lottery with a salary-based selection system will be delayed until Dec. 31. President Joe Biden said his administration would review the rule. The president expressed support for the concept of salary-based H-1B visa allocation during the 2020 election campaign.

(SHRM Online)

The First 100 Days

Biden has "hit the ground running" as he directs changes to the U.S. immigration system in his first 100 days in office, immigration experts have said.

Like his predecessors, Biden has issued a number of executive orders since he took office, including directing federal agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of immigration policies introduced during the Trump administration.

(SHRM Online)

Immigration Plan Legalizes Millions of Workers

Biden unveiled legislation Jan. 20 that would create a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 10 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, offering expedited green card eligibility to "Dreamers"—undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children—as well as to farmworkers and those under temporary protected status .

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would also attempt to clear the employment-based visa backlog, eliminate per-country visa caps for green cards, codify work authorization for the spouses of H-1B visa holders, incentivize higher wages for H-1B workers so as not to displace U.S. workers and encourage ways to improve the employment verification process.

The expansive proposal, which would need to be approved by Congress, is the most sweeping immigration reform package introduced since 2013.

(SHRM Online)

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